Who are you? What do you do?
I am a furniture designer in Korea. The motifs of products are inspired from the ocean, such as sea animals, wave, ships, and equipment in a fishing village. These are blended with its functions. Most of the products are made of stainless steel, leather, and wood which are solid, tough and timeless.
Where are you from?
I am from Korea where all boundaries meet the ocean. My childhood is full of memories at beaches. Still, I love travelling islands, and also collecting seashell and sand from all around world.
I majored in architecture in University and afterward, worked as a cruise interior designer for 3 years. At the yard, I was inspired from the process of building ships and streamlined hull. Recently, I worked for car design center for 7 years, and I could set up my own design features from the streamlined car design, which is extended from ship appearance. In addition, I could have experiences such as design & production process and practical design solutions. Above factors has reflected on the furniture identity.
Ocean, Streamline, Separable. Ocean is my inspirational object. And it is naturally connected to streamlined design. These days, I am interested in light product, easy for moving. I resolve this idea with emphasizing the separable function as its whole design or focusing on the way of separating details.
When did you decide to become an designer?
While working at the vehicle company, to enhance design skills, I decided to enter graduate school and chose furniture design because I could extend the field of B.A.-architecture. Afterwards, the furniture process fascinated me, which is feasible from small-sized-company and makes easy and fast start. It means I could decide and proceed with my own intention all the way. And it gave me more fulfillment after finishing projects.
What do you find most fascinating about the creative process?
I start furniture design from streamlined sketches. After finishing the 3D modeling, I try to realize its essential function as practical furniture. It needs efforts to achieve the adequate strength and aesthetic details. At times, it also needs studies for material and devices. These works requires continuous efforts and creativity. However, it is fascinating when it comes successfully at the same time.
Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…
Ron Arad. His design is integrated, solid and streamlined. I pursue the way he does. The other inspiration I get is of Poul Kjaerholm. His design is very modern and simple which is different from Ron Arad. However, the detail of his furniture is very creative and gorgeous. And his works for furniture definition worth recognition.
A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?
This year, I built a wooden surfing board. Of course my passion for the ocean led me to do it. But, at the same time, I did it for the next project. I am planning the series of furniture from the surfing board building skills. Surfing board is quite light, compared to its volume and strong due to its structure. Its outline is also unique and beautiful.
2017 : Where are we going?
Most furniture shapes are already developed and future design will be the reinterpretation of previous furniture design, art furniture, or new material and technology. It will be also applied to 2017 furniture design.
Your city’s favorite spots?
Pusan is well known as beautiful beaches. I enjoy surfing at Songjeong in Pusan. And also spend most time at seaside except working. Love sun, sand and breeze.
Tell us about your future plans.
I have plans to open a furniture gallery, which is seldom in Korea. Interior design is already finished and the Lockheed chair style, designed by Marc Newson will be applied for its interior.
more about Inhwan Hwang
photos and sketches copyright: Inhwan Hwang